Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Military in Distress: Statement of Honduran Officers

The Honduran blog Mimalapalabra posted a statement today, of necessity anonymous and thus no doubt open to dismissal and suspicion. But if the authors are, as they claim, members of the Armed Forces, what they have to say would be an important indication of dissent within the military. Almost every commentator, even a woman like me who is almost allergic to the idea of military having such importance, sees the Honduran Armed Forces as critical for any prospects of resolution of the constitutional crisis they helped create.

So, here is a translation of this statement:

Group of Senior and Subaltern Officers denounces politicization of the Armed Forces of Honduras


We, a group of senior and subaltern officers (we do not give names for obvious reasons, and not due to cowardice) in the face of the situation in which the politicians in collusion with the joint command involved the Armed Forces, and that has eroded the good image that we had before the Honduran people, state and denounce the following:

  • The Head of the Joint Chiefs, General Vásquez, politicized the institution, contravening the constitutional mandate to be apolitical.
  • General Vásquez committed the Armed Forces in the beginning to aid Sr. Mel Zelaya and afterward changed political scope, in place of retiring his troops to their respective barracks and maintaining them on the periphery of the politicians who are only using them.
  • It is mentioned that a group of businessmen collected 30 million Lempiras and doled it out to the group of commanders, something that goes against the decorum and values of the military, and we declare that the Armed Forces are not gendarmes of any elite economic group, rather we are with the people because the majority of its members, both officers as well as troops come from the entrails of the people, we are not a thoroughbred army.
  • General Vásquez should have stepped down two years ago, but Sr. Mel Zelaya left him, infringing the laws in force, on that occasion he said "understood I accept Sr. President"; and now because he did not say again "understood", infringing the Law as he did two years ago, he sold to the highest bidder. A lack of principles as a person, there is something of betrayal in his actions, he has prejudiced two promotions in the succession of of command.
  • Two years ago when Sr. Zelaya re-elected him; some weeks before various commanders were removed who were not in agreement with the continuity and when Don Mel brought together all the Military Commanders in the Casa Presidencial, the General sent some officers that if present were going to question the decision with Sr. Mel Zelaya on a mission outside of Tegucigalpa.
  • General Vásquez has denaturalized the rank of General, raising to this rank officers that have had a black path in military life, but have been his admirers, without any operational capacity.


Promoting a friend, Retired General Gerónimo Pérez, an officer who in a state of inebriation wrecked two military cars and did not have responsibilities removed, made pregnant a student ensign in the Military Academy and influenced it so that they graduated her, now General Vásquez has him working on contract in the Defense College earning 30,000 Lempiras monthly.

General Fuentes Gonzales is a kleptomaniac officer that on one occasion, there being Commanders of the North American Military battalion, carrying out a civic action in the west of the country, left construction materials and some wood, and when they returned to get it he had already sold it, the North Americans recommended a dishonorable discharge and now he is a brand-new General.

General Cuéllar, an excellent person but as an officer never knew a frontier battalion, doesn't know what it is to patrol a frontier, has only been an invisible clerical worker, but is completely a general and hasn't sweated fatigued.

General Padget, a problem officer since he was a junior officer, graduated in Mexico and left a bad record there, with his failures of decorum (better you investigate).

General Cervantes, Prince, and counter-admiral Rodriguez, without negative commentaries about their private and military life, but they have not had the character as military to clarify things with the Head of the Joint Chiefs.

Sr. General Vásquez, when you said to Sr. Mel Zelaya that you would not carry out the order of the "cuarta" [urna], you should have presented your resignation, not changed your political camp, as if the Armed Forces existed to serve political groups. Better to resign, it is time, remember that in 1993 you also knew the cells of the P. C.


Nell said...

remember that in 1993 you also knew the cells of the P. C.

What is the reference here?

RAJ said...

Among the pieces of historical research in the Hemeroteca (newspaper archive) accomplished by its director, historian Nathalie Roque, who lost her job for bringing history to light, was the circulation of news articles showing that in 1993 then-Major Vasquez Velasquez was arrested for being involved in a car theft ring. English-language coverage based on these documents notes that those charged were imprisoned in the Central Penitentiary, PC for short.

In Costa Rica, the Honduran scholars I talked with said his role was not directly the stealing of luxury vehicles, but rather, used influence to protect someone centrally involved. To me, that is worse, not better, as it is the web of corruption and influence that corrodes civil society in Honduras.